|Year in Review - 2012||ICON_SEP Print ICON_SEP|
|Written by Mary McDonald|
With all three high school varsity football teams, under the direction of new athletic directors, making it to the playoff in 2012, to the election of new County officials and voting for the sale of alcohol in restaurants and convenience stores, Freestone County has had a busy year.
The January 3, 2012 edition of The “Times” carried the good news that the US Court of Appeals granted a December 30, 2011 stay of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR). (On August 21, 2012, the Court struck down the CSAPR ruling saving hundreds of jobs for employees at Luminant. The action also secured the energy needs for Texas.)
On January 4, 2012, Green Energy Oilfield Services broke ground on a 14,000 square foot Corporate Headquarters in Fairfield Industrial Park. The grand opening included many County dignitaries, with U.S. House of Representatives Bill Flores and Joe Barton and State Representative Bryon Cook in attendance.
Freeman’s Flowers in Fairfield moved to a new location, 317 N. Mount, and added a charming Tea Room.
On January 12, 2012, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet at Wilbur H. Bailey VFW Post #5872.
Honored at the banquet were: Business of the Year – ETMC Hospital of Fairfield; Small Business of the Year – Accessories, Etc.; Organization of the Year – Wilbur H. Bailey VFW Post #5872 of Fairfield; Citizen of the Year – Sheriff Ralph Billings; Student of the Year – Kathleen Chappell; Elementary Teacher of the Year – Penny Meredith; Intermediate Teacher of the Year - Jennifer Chavers; Junior High Teacher of the Year – Melinda Black; and High School Teacher of the Year – Nicole Crawford. High School Special Education Teacher, Gay Hudnall, was District Teacher of the Year.
Wortham High School Senior, Manton Capers, was selected to the 2012 Association of Texas Small School Bands All-State Band.
Dr. David Lathum, M.D. was appointed to be the Freestone County Health Authority.
Susie Roberson of Fairfield, Texas won $1,000 from KBHT 93.5 - The Outlaw radio station.
On January 10th, Fairfield citizens saw an increase in the water bills of $10.70 per month.
Padrino’s Brick Oven Pizzeria introduced New York style pizza to Fairfield.
VFW Post #5872 of Fairfield held their annual banquet to celebrate the accomplishments of area students and recognize those who keep our communities safe.
Of the 70 students who submitted recorded speeches, the Voice of Democracy winners were: Fairfield – Brooke Johnson, Morgan Phihoda, Tyler Ezell, Lauren Knight, and Ryan Knight; Wortham – Katie Looney, Rowan Miller, Anna Jones, Briar Scruggs, and Chris Lee; Teague – Nathanael Havens and Amber Lancaster.
Patriot Pens were awarded to 1st Place winners: Lori Massey of Dew, Madison Schick of Fairfield, and Abby Knight of Fairfield; 2nd Place Claire Partain of Fairfield, and 3rd Place to Matthew McCully of Fairfield.
Dew ISD Alumni formed a new foundation to provide student scholarships, innovative teaching grants, staff developments and student/teacher recognition programs.
Citizens learned that they would be able to drive 75 mph on I-45 and 1,500 other miles in Texas beginning at the end of January.
Kent Trucking went out of business with a big auction on January 28th, after owners Glynn Harris and Donald Carroll decided to retire.
Fairfield Junior High students rack up an incredible 958.5 points to take first place at UIL District competition.
Fairfield Athletic Director Darrell Piske took a position with 5A Tyler Robert E. Lee High School as Coordinator/Head Coach. Coach Piske took the Eagles thru two District Championships.
Teague Lions and Lady Lions Basketball Teams go undefeated for the season.
Fairfield Eagles and Lady Eagles clinch basketball playoff spots.
The Wortham Bulldog Basketball Team made the play-offs.
With the help of a matching “Simplified – Local Humanitarian Grant,” Fairfield Rotary Club donated $1,000 in food purchases to Pleasant Hills Children’s Home in Fairfield.
Fairfield Intermediate School students, along with some Elementary participants, took 1st Place in UIL.
Teague athlete, Kelton Henderson, received honorable mention as a linebacker in the 61st annual Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association’s All-State Football Team.
Fairfield students, Brandon Lucero and Amanda Cook, came in 1st Place at the FCCLA Meet in Waco, Texas on February 10th.
The Freestone County Times celebrated its 10 year anniversary with a public reception at noon on February 28th.
Luminant settled its lawsuit against the Freestone Central Appraisal District. Luminant had ascertained that properties were evaluated too high. The resulting reduction of $80,273,150 meant a loss of $51,819 to Fairfield ISD and reductions to other entities.
The April 3, 2012 primaries were cancelled due to state voting map redistricting disputes. (The County primaries were ultimately held on May 29, 2012.)
Fairfield Eagles basketball team advanced to Regional Quarterfinals.
Teague attorney Fred Neale releases his second novel, The Time Before.
John Bachtel was named Fairfield Athletic Director/Head Coach.
The Freestone County TEA Party held the first of several “Meet the Candidates” meetings.
Both the Republican and Democratic parties got the go-ahead to set the date for the primary election to be May 29, 2012, after federal judges solidified district election maps.
Freestone County got a new Extension Agent. Teresa Petkoff was appointed as Family and Consumer Sciences for Texas AgriLife Extension services on March 21st.
Fairfield 5th Grade students received a personal response from Marines to whom they had sent Valentines.
World War II Veteran, Zeno King, spoke at the Fairfield Rotary Club on March 6th.
The “Times” noted the 75th Anniversary of the New London, Texas, tragedy where 269 children and adults lost their life from a gas leak explosion. Natural gas was, at that time, odorless; an additive has now been added so a leak can be detected by smell.
Teague resident, Constance Robinson, was featured on a reality show. As a result of the generosity of Dave Selman of Star Tex Homes in Waco, Ms. Robinson received a very nice, and badly needed new home.
The Fairfield Eagles lost a chance at the Regional III Tournament in overtime, losing 48 – 42.
Teague High School brother and sister, Greseldo and David Colixtro, broke power-lifting records in both district and regional competition.
Teague Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet on April 5th. Awards were as follows: Boyd Cup – Matt Gillet; Citizen of the Year – LaShane Criddle; Business of the Year – Carroll Lumber; and Organization of the Year – Teague Rodeo Association. West Point appointee, Nick Johnson, was recognized. Teague students for each grade were announced as Student of the year in their grade level as follows: High School – Landon Lancaster, Junior High – Hannah Anderson, Intermediate School – Daise Cordova, and Elementary – Hunter Hurst.
Bank Vice President, Brian Mannen, retired from Farmers State Bank of Fairfield.
On April 20th at the Depot X, The Trinity Star Arts Council paid tribute to Kenny Dorham, a Fairfield native who attained greatness as a jazz trumpeter, band leader and composer of the bebop era. Mayor Hill proclaimed April 19, 20, and 21st as “Kenny Dorham Days.
Two Freestone County Students: Caleb Gunnels of Fairfield and David Johnson of Teague received Military appointments from U.S. Representative Joe Barton.
The trial of Jose Antonio Young, Jr., charged with several counts of Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child, as well as, one count of Sexual Assault, ended in a hung jury. County Attorney Chris Martin indicated that the case will be retried.
Fairfield’s Jay Roberson broke the school’s old record with a high jump of 15 ft. and took first place before district competition even began. Kathleen Chappell came in first in 100 hurdles, and Aaron Heers qualifies for Regionals in tennis.
For the 23rd time in 24 years, Fairfield High School earned First Place in UIL Academic competition.
Performance Ford of Fairfield received the “Partners in Quality” award from the Ford Motor Company.
A proposed gas well said to contain sour gas became a controversy for both the Fairfield ISD, which owns the property, and the Fairfield City Council. Ultimately, Valence Operating answered concerns of both entities, and the well was dug near Church Street.
The City of Teague installed new weather warning sirens.
The 38th Annual Fairfield Rotary Club Talent Show was held at Fairfield High School.
The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Rotary Club squared off in a softball game to benefit the local Girl Scouts Troops. The Chamber won but, everyone had a great time for a great cause.
Daniel Johnson was named the new athletic director for Teague Schools the first week of May.
A string of armed robberies took place in early May. Jolly’s Valero in Fairfield and Cefco in Teague were among the places hit.
Congressman Bill Flores was guest speaker at Luminant’s Big Brown on May 3rd. Leading townspeople and county officials attended the box lunch affair.
Property appraisal statements were sent out to 5,600 Freestone County property owners showing that most values had not changed significantly.
Donna Lynn Williams became the new Freestone County Auditor on May 7th.
The Ike Carden Rodeo held its final banquet. The organization, started 13 years ago, provided more than $40,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors.
High winds and a strong storm hit Fairfield, causing some damage and power outages in May.
The GFWC Fairfield History Club held its 43rd Annual Pilgrimage.
Fairfield High School Senior, Kathleen Chappell, was named WFAA Dale Hansen Scholar Athlete.
The Freestone County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at a home in Lanely, Texas and found Daniel Guajardo-Morales dead, apparently from stab wounds. William Vasquez was arrested and is awaiting trial.
Wortham ISD hired Shane Doege to be the new Athletic Director.
The 2012, Teague Valedictorian was Sophany Thach, and the Salutatorian was Nathanael Havens. In Wortham, Anna Renee Jones earned the Valedictorian title, while Ki’Undrea Antwonette Smith was the Salutatorian. In Fairfield, top scholars were: Valedictorian, Kathleen Chappell, and Salutatorian, Zac Prihoda.
Senior Citizens luncheon attendees crowned Mary Torres and Bill Whitson, from the Fairfield Center, as the over-all Queen and King.
A more than $20,000 discrepancy was found in the Freestone County jail bank accounts by a routine audit.
Freestone County Relay for Life held its last event. The organization raised nearly $50,000 in 2012.
Fairfield Elementary students that did not miss a day of school received bicycles from various businesses in Fairfield.
Samuel Marsters was named Principal for a Week at Fairfield Elementary School.
A tank exploded during an electrical storm on May 30th sending smoke high into the air.
Freestone County athletes, Dane Blackwood of Fairfield, Manton Capers of Wortham, and Dustin Hunt of Teague, participated in the Fellowship of Christian athletes Super Centex Victory Bowl on June 9th.
The charge of harassment against Charles Morgan, candidate for State Representative, was dismissed more than two years after his arrest.
The old Teague Nursing Home, which had not been used in 15 years, caught fire on June 11th and was extinguished in 97 degree heat.
The annual County Fair opened on June 11th with the annual parade. Incommons Bank received the Spirit of Freestone Trophy, Lu Baby’s Ice Cream truck was Most Entertaining, Most Beautiful Float went to Miss Freestone County contestant, Kristin Shaw, and the Most Creative float was given to Miss Teen Freestone County contestant Kendle Rhodes.
Kristin Shaw was named Miss Freestone County and Allie Edwards was named Miss Teen Freestone County.
Livestock sales totaled $346,600, with Brady Johnson’s steer going for $13,500 and purchased by Green Energy Services.
Teague held its annual Western Week; the accompanying Rodeo began on June 28th.
Freestone County Times’ own Christy Jackson came in First Place in Advertising in the 2012 Texas Better Newspaper contest.
Groundbreaking for the Fairfield Community Garden was held on June 22nd.
Juneteenth Celebration took place at Dogan School on June 19th.
William Vasquez was arrested for the alleged murder of Lanely resident Daniel Guajardo-Morales.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court by the swing vote of Justice John Roberts.
The Fairfield 11 & 12 year old All Star Team won District 6 and the right to go to State competition.
Dustin Williams sent Freestone County deputies on a high speed chase for about 20 minutes all over the County before being stopped. He was jailed on 3 counts of Aggravated Assault of a Public Servant, and one count of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
The Fairfield Hospital Board hired former FISD Superintendent, Tony Price, to be the new Executive Assistant.
Green Energy Oilfield was the 2012 Freestone County Fair Volume Buyer, spending $24,900 on youth livestock.
The Freestone County Historical Museum hired a new curator, Nancy Taylor, in July.
Butler Ex-Students held a Fourth of July Parade; Streetman had its annual Lawnmower Parade: and Fairfield lit up the sky with its annual fireworks display.
WISD made the decision to extend the school day by 20 minutes for most of the students. The additional time was used for tutoring in the high school and individual learning time for the elementary and middle school students.
Valence Operating got the go ahead from the City of Fairfield to drill a sour gas well on property belonging to Fairfield ISD. The controversial decision was made after all parties involved reached an agreement.
Teague Volunteer Firemen, Matt Robinson, Ty Scruggs, and Dennis Cox (also Chief of Police) received commendation medals from the Teague City Council and Fire Chief Jody Bodine for risking their lives Christmas Day 2011 in a house fire.
Andy Awalt was sworn in as the Fairfield Hospital Board’s newest board member on July 12th.
Parker Square Mall, named for the building it was housed in, moved down the street to 101 W. Commerce in Fairfield.
The City of Fairfield spent $220,000 to renovate the Watson Well.
CellularONE in Fairfield held a volleyball tournament to benefit Pleasant Hill’s Children’s Home, raising $1,745.
Flippin’ Fun, that opened May of 2011 at 430 W. Main, moved to a larger facility at 1360 W. Highway 80 in Fairfield.
SWB held its annual Summer Showdown and Youth Rodeo.
Beloved Wortham teenager Shayla Bennett lost her life in a rollover accident. The junior had been involved in many horse shows, including the one at the Freestone County Fair this year.
International photographer, Pat O’Hare, was on hand for the gala opening night event of his own exhibit, “Here, There and Everywhere,” held on July 26th at Healthy Rhythm Community Art Gallery in Fairfield.
Pat O’Hare also gave a presentation on a controversial way of dealing with drug use at Healthy Rhythm Art Gallery on Friday, July 27th.
Nancy Taylor, Freestone County Museum Curator, told children about Life on the Frontier, on July 27th – the first of several living history programs.
First Baptist Church hosted their second “Kids Camp” the last week of July.
In late July, Schools, Cities, and hospitals learned that revenues from property taxes would be, on the average, 3% less than the prior year.
In the Primary run-off election held July 31st, Democratic candidate for County Commissioner, Keith Brackens, learned he would face Republican Bodie Emmons on November 6, 2012, having defeated Michael Daniels. A mix-up in the polling places created confusion and irritation to some voters who went to the wrong place or stood in long lines.
Brenda Shultz took over as Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Administrator on August 1, 2012.
The first annual Brick Street Festival was held in downtown Wortham August 4th, in conjunction with the opening of Brick Street Parlour Barber Shop & Salon, hosted by owners Robert Hogan and Rocquel Bush. Local band, The Dan Harrington Band, performed.
Annual 4-H Banquet honors went to: Gold Star – Samantha Winkler, Silver Star – Cooper Blackwell, Bronze Star – Madison McQueen, Danforth ‘I Dare You’ - Travis Blackwell, Friends of the 4-H – James Grant and Clint Minchew, Outstanding 4-H Adult Leader – the late Cheryl Barker.
Freestone County Jail records showed a shortage in a trust account in excess of $23,000. The matter is still being investigated by Texas Rangers and retired FBI/CPA forensics auditor, John Southerland.
Art created by local artist, Andy Emmons, was acquired by the Museum of Southwest Texas in Beaumont, Texas. The art is a sculpture of a woodpecker made of wood, tires, metal, and other objects.
Adena and James McCabe won first place, $1,000, from Brookshire Brothers’ Ultimate Shopping Spree.
Ten-year pastor of Fairfield Missionary Baptist Church, A.L. Thibodeaux, was arrested and charged with Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child. Bonds, later reduced to $50,000 each, were assessed at $250,000 each. The charges allegedly involved a teen-aged girl.
A week later, Fairfield assistant coach, LaDonna Brackens, was charged with Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child, allegedly committed at the same time as the Thibodeaux allegations.
Wortham Police Chief Scott Peters resigns to take a position with the Dallas Independent School district.
Sandi King became the new Wortham High School Principal.
Two-a-days began in the hot August sun for Fairfield, Teague, and Wortham; each school anticipating great football seasons.
For the first time in the history of Freestone and Limestone Counties, all five 11-man schools, were under the direction of new athletic directors. These were: John Bachtel - Fairfield ISD, Daniel Johnson – Teague ISD, Shane Doege - Wortham ISD, Lamonte Chambers – Mexia ISD, and Kodi Crane – Groesbeck ISD.
Freestone County got its first look at the Varsity Football and Volleyball teams in The “Times.”
Fairfield Intermediate student, Anna Kay Williams and Jordan Gibson were honored at the Texas Rangers game on August 12th as part of the Lone Star Scholar Program. Anna also signed during the National Anthem.
The EPA Cross-State Air Pollution was tossed out by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Locally, hundreds of Luminant jobs were saved as a result and energy concerns were put to rest.
On August 24th, Fairfield hometown doctor and civic leader, John H. Keller, Jr., M.D., passed away. Dr. Keller had provided medical services to the community for more than 50 years.
Labor Day weekend, each year, was set aside as “Dr. J. H. Keller, Jr. Weekend and Celebration of Rest and Life for All” by a proclamation signed by Fairfield Mayor Roy Hill.
J.D. Teague passed away on August 24th. Teague had served as Teague City Manager for almost 2 years and Fairfield’s City Administrator for 4 years. He also served on the Fairfield City Council and as Mayor Pro-Tem.
The “Times” Publisher, Scott W. Marsters, Sr., marked the passing of Astronaut Neal Armstrong with an article recounting his childhood while living in the NASA community of Timber Cove.
2012 Fairfield graduate, Ben Spradlin, was inducted as an Eagle Scout on August 12th.
Wortham High School was dedicated to former superintendent Wayne Poe. On hand for the dedication were numerous former students who attended Wortham when he was there.
The City of Wortham broke ground on a new city park, which is expected to be multi-faceted, including a sports complex.
Freestone County Food Swap was organized with its first meeting on September 3rd.
A couple of cases of West Nile virus were recorded in Freestone County. The Cities of Fairfield and Teague took precautionary action by spraying chemicals to kill mosquitoes.
Beloved coach, Joey Worley, contracted West Nile while on vacation. He spent several weeks in Baylor Hospital and was featured on NBC’s Nightllne on September 19th. Thankfully, he has made a full recovery.
Anthony Thibodeaus and LaDonna Brackens were arrested again and each received an additional charge of Indecency with a Child. Bail, made immediately, was set at $20,000.
Don Willard received a portrait of his band composed of Shawn Woodard, Craig Covey and himself at Healthy Rhythm Community Art Gallery, painted by local artist, Wayne Vee.
Dr. Michael Orms gave a presentation on hypertension on August 29th in the Fairfield Nursing & Rehab facility.
Dr. Michael Orms joined the Fairfield Hospital Board.
Frank Harvey was found guilty of possession of over 50 lbs of marijuana, but less than 2,000 lbs.
Justice of the Peace, Shirley Mays, dismissed charges against Dave Selman, owner of Star Tex Homes of Waco. The charges occurred when Mr. Selman gifted Teague resident Constance Robinson with a mobile home. Selman left the old trailer, that he was hauling away, on a vacant lot (with the owner’s permission – he said) for less than 24 hours.
A headstone at the grave of Wilbur A. Harrison, WWI soldier, was dedicated during a ceremony on September 22nd.
Natalie Neill was crowned Fairfield Homecoming Queen 2012.
Freestone Central Appraisal District terminated the contract of Wardlaw Appraisal Services after only one year. Bud Black, Chief Appraiser, indicated that the company had made significant errors that led to less revenue that entities had expected to receive.
From all indications, Jonathan Osborn took his own life at Fairfield Lion’s Club Kiddie Park. Jonathan was a Fairfield High School student who was described as being artistic.
Big T’s Buddies raised more than $80,000 for Autism at the annual Big T’s Chili Cook-off, October 5th and 6th.
Kristen Gore was crowned Teague Homecoming Queen at halftime during the game against Waco Reicher.
According to Chief Deputy Donnie Anderson, marijuana Plants and illegal drugs were found at the home of James Paul Kryfko, Mark Roel Ornelas, and Steven Ray Garrick Tamez. In addition, a child was said to be at the home. All three were charged with possession of marijuana of more than 4 ounces but less than 5 pounds. Kryfko was also charged with endangering a child. All were released on various bonds.
ETMC Fairfield held an open house to show off Phase II of a three phase project.
Kelly Butler was named as the new Wortham Police Chief.
The newly formed Freestone County Cancer Support Group hosted its first style show with area businesses participating.
Teague’s new radio tower was dedicated on October 12th to the late Yrene Morgan. Mrs. Morgan was instrumental in getting the grant to fund this project, and others, in Teague.
The Teague Police Department held a 5K run in conjunction with Parkfest, an annual event celebrating fall.
For the second time in less than a month, an apparent suicide took place in Fairfield by a young man. Taran Dar’Rell Grant was found hanging from a tree in a yard on Reunion Street.
Lieutenant Mike Noll of the Teague Police Department was shot in the leg. The alleged shooter was Noll’s teenaged son.
Mail was stolen from the post office boxes that stand just outside the Fairfield Post Office on October 22nd.
County Commissioner Precinct 3, Stanley Gregory, participated in paving the old Buffalo Road (FCR 441) on October 11th. This was the last of his career, as Mr. Gregory will retire at the end of December.
Fairfield ISD alerted parents that a man had exposed himself to students after hours on school property.
Readers learned that Freestone County soil was used on the grounds of the G.W. Bush Library, to open next year.
SWB held its fall rodeo October 27th.
Fairfield History Club hosted “Splendor at the House” on October 28th with an old-fashioned pie social and featured the Texas Boys Choir as entertainment.
River of Life Church held a community-wide Bar-B-Que on October 27th.
The VFW #5872 Ladies Auxiliary of Fairfield held its 125th birthday party at Fairfield Elementary and Intermediate schools.
VFW #5872 of Fairfield held its annual Chili-Cook off, raising $3,500 to fight cancer.
Fairfield, Teague, and Wortham schools all saw their Volleyball teams advance to the playoffs.
Sharon Jackson was air-lifted to Scott and White Hospital in Temple, Texas after both her legs were amputated below the knee by a train. Jackson was reported to have been crossing the tracks on foot.
Don Anderson won the race for County Sheriff over Ken Sessions. Bodie Emmons outdistanced Michael Daniels for Commissioner Precinct 3; Diana Willis beat opponent Pam Brackens for Constable Precinct 2; and Roger Brooke defeated Kelly Craig for Constable Precinct 4.
Voters also elected to allow the sale of alcohol in Freestone County.
New Athletic Director John Bachtel led the Fairfield Eagles Varsity football team to a district win in overtime; they then collected the bi-district trophy, before being defeated in the area game.
Wortham and Teague Varsity football teams, under the direction of new athletic directors, Daniel Johnson and Shane Doege earned the right to go on in the play-offs. Wortham won bi-district before losing the area game.
Fairfield Cross-Country runner Abby Chaidez earned a state medal while Morgan Carevic, Sarie Hill, Jaida Smith, Jennifer Reed, and Justin Campbell all competed at State.
Several area Veterans events were held to honor our veterans, including a parade in Teague, Texas.
Eight individuals - Britany Cardenas, Rhonda Jarrell, Chad Jarrell, Bradley Matchett, John Neighbors, Joseph Neighbors, Patricia Lucas, and Christopher Neighbors – were arrested in late October and November on related drug charges. Some of the arrests were made in ‘drug free’ zones (1,000 feet of church, school, or day care).
Trinity Star Arts Council and City of Fairfield are making plans to bring the IRAS Theater back to life.
Fairfield and Teague won bi-district games and went on to play in the Area games. Great job to all three schools.
The Texas State Railroad completed work on a 2.8 mile section of track, connecting them to a mainline national railroad. They are now connected to Union Pacific, the first time since 1969.
The Freestone County Museum held “Turn Back the Clock” on November 24th.
Fairfield Junior High gets First Place in its One Act Play, “Three Pills in a Bottle.”
Teague Alderman Mark Hargis resigned. Since he was also the Mayor Pro-Tem, the Council voted to give Alderman David Huffman that position.
Santa was seen all over Freestone County in December. He was in the Fairfield and Teague Christmas parades, rode up in a John Deere Tractor at 3W Ranch Supply of Teague, and visited with Big T’s Buddies, to name a few places. Rumor has it that he is a personal friend of Fairfield resident and business owner, Randall Whitaker.
Freestone County said good-bye to Christine Watson Marsters when she went to be with the Lord on December 13, 2012. Christine was an icon in Freestone County, responsible for preserving much of its rich history, especially in the Stewards Mill area. When The “Times” began in 2002, Christine meticulously proofed each edition.
Flags flew at half staff in front of Freestone County Schools in respect for the 20 children and 7 teachers who lost their lives in Newtown, Connecticut when a 20-year-old shooter opened fire on Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Principal Jimmy Jowers retired on December 21, 2012. He had been an educator for 38 years; the last 11 at Fairfield ISD.
Bill White with Freestone County Farm Bureau made December 31, 2012 his last day after being with the company for 35 years.
On December 31, 2012, Commissioner Precinct 3, Stanley Gregory, officially retired after 24 years.
Numerous motions were filed on November 19, 2012, by Attorney David Moore of Limestone County on behalf of La’Donna Brackens, who has been charged with two counts of Indecency with a Child, and one count of Sexual Assault of a child in Freestone County, Texas.
In a motion for a change of venue, Ms. Brackens is asking that her case be transferred to Limestone County, Texas citing adverse publicity from the media.
Another motion filed is to restrict publicity.
Brackens is requesting that all pretrial hearings be in chambers outside the presence and hearing of the public and the press as evidence produced by Brackens, according to the motion, might impair the possibility of obtaining a fair and unprejudiced jury.
During the year Freestone County said good-bye to many of its cherished citizens as they passed from life to death.
December 2011 – Helen Kay Strain Anglin, Pat Latham, Steven (Trip) Thomas Williams, III, Cullen C. Gunter, Dennis Michael Craig, and Pauline Hagen Lane
January – Mrs. Dale Belt Senter, Fred Polk, Gloria Ann York Young, Michael Kirkpatrick, Jessie R. Fox, Arlan James Moravec (Big A), Vanola Sophia Cates Conn, Paul Marion Woolridge, Sue Nash Carroll, Minnie Jo Canady, Roger Allen White, Ruby Lois Newsom, Leslie Y (Skipper) Red, Ralph E. Abshier, Waverly E. Drinkard, Oliver E. Swinburn, Gordon (Uncle Junior) Abney, James Everett Moore, Wallace (Sneed) Bosley, Cathy Jean Davis, and Blanche Sneed Dunbar.
February – Lillian Lott, Donald R. Bedford, Tony Fitzgerald Finney, James A. Gilliam, Ellen Busby Griffin. Linda K. Phifer, James Richard Romine, Paul H. Davis, Tommie Jean Whitaker, Eunice Hull, Billy Glenn (Bill) Huffman, Lola Jo Robinson, Eddie Lee Willis, Gary Osburn, Annie Dell Lane Terry, Joyce Barr, Johnnie Willis, Linda Charline Mills, Ida Louise (Grell) Henrickson, Shanitha Bru’Shonda (NeNe) Williams, Lee Judson Davis, Harold Lee Cook, Jr., Lillian F. Livingston Lott, and Joseph Richard Berger.
March – Coella Graham Moore, Ronald (Grits) Gresham, Evando Gail Grayson, Bess Allen (Beck) Williams, Mary Elaine Davis, Richard Lee Knight, Sr., Cleta Maxine Whiteside, Dustine Porter, John I. Rouse, and John Holms Thompson.
April – Neta Daniel, Virginia Best, Vida Jane Whiteside, Kenneth Lee Owens, Rebecca Irene Cunningham, Louise Elizabeth Reed, Willie Muriel Knight, Lucille Hatfield, Martha Stroud Bonner, and Delores Jean Callaway.
May – Janet Walker, Billie Henderson, Ruth Evelyn Webb Barger, Martha Alma Harrison, Charles K. Allen, Wilson Winford Henry, Calvet Allen Carroll, Vicki E. Turner, Emma Sue Benedict, Nettie Ann Latham, Hester Louise Dunbar, Eddie Lee (Madear) Lockhart Wilson, Jonya Schuman, Letha Pearl Delavan Turner, Robert (Bob) Clary, Kathlene (Kathy) Badertscher, Russell Henry Smith, William (Bill) Donald Haynes, Louise Lawless Hudnall, Karen Starr Rogers, and James O. Statham.
June - Anna Lee Vance, Josephine (Jo) Zanotti Murden, Bobby Ruth Downey, Brian Todd Linder, Larry Warren Folk, Charles Maclyn Dunbar, Millie Lou (Willard) Parrish, Charles Howard Ollar, Hortense “Sam” (Levels) Stephens, Wilbur Thirkield “Bill” Titus, John Layton, John Richard Smith, Frances Louise May, Jimmy Lee Prince, Ezra L. Henderson, Linda Ann (Henry) Bluitt, Cheryl Ann Barker, Darrell F. “Turk” Davis, Macie V. (Moore) Lankford, Ed Magouirk, and Deborah “Debbie’ Lee Blassingame.
July – Bobby Joe Whittington, Gladys Beard, James Richardson, Lillie Belle Spirling, Milton T. McAdams, Reginald A. “Bones” Butler, Louise Bullard, Thomas Drew Rodgers, Mary Wilkerson, John Dwain Barger, Roderick Alan Livingston, Faye Lee Patterson-Masak, Shayla Bennett, and Joseph Kubulan.
August – Thelma Lou Pope, Geraldine (Jerry) Gelston, Joyce Marie Brown, Hixie Bernice (Little) Snider, Leon Cecil Giles, J.D. Teague, Dr. John H. Keller, Jr., Joe Rogers, Eloise P. Shaw, Charles Alexander, Sr., Mary Frances Whitaker, T’Aveon O’Neal Johnson “T.T,” and Leonard G. (Jack) Brice.
September – Billy Ray Suttle, Bruce McWilliams, Jamie Irene Goss, Dorothy Carlene Walker, Joe Lynn Allison, Timothy L. Snipes, Amelia “Nan” Fredenrich, Wilma Thompson, Travis (T.L.) Fogleman, Shirley Irene Allen, Mildred (Lankford) Busby, Melba Colleen Hamilton, Bonner Missildine, Jr., Therma Watson Brown, Jai’den Rashad Bennett, Lorrinda Marilyn Lee, Billy Otha (Bo) Benton, Jr., Pauline Pruitt, Mabel McNutt, Ada Louise Mullen Baker, Annie Lou Bonner,
October – Norma Whitworth, Reba Long, J.B. Bishop, Evelyn B. Willard, Jonathan Osborn, Annie Jewell Lacy Hall, Eula Mae (Powers) Clemons, Allen Ezell “Shot” Lynn, Mary Raglin Blocker Shelby, Donett Davidson, Horace Black, Jacob Andrew Webb, Billye Dean May, Homer W. (Bill) Robertson, Guy Paul Blanchard, Durwood “Dud” Tilman Brooks, F.W. Joe Horton, Glenda Gibson Chandler, Billy Dotson, Beverly Ann Nemons Hickman, and Nina Mae Ross.
November – Mattie Bea Medford, Frank Housman, Wanda Ann Speed Robertson, Daisey Mae Murphy Robinson, R. J. Hartless, Jean Shields Thomas, Mary Ann Spencer Kendrick, Dorothy Lee (Benge) Brewer, Claud W. Outlaw, Douglas Vern Slagle, Adron Dwain York, Lillie Mae Bonner, Justine White, and Julian Josue Madera.
December - Joel Andrew Bonner, Sr., Brodi Karin Johnson, Shirley Barger Dillon, Helen Hattie Mae Washington Hatcher, Joe Conner, L.C. “Snook” Scott, Sr., Pauline Robinson, Thomas Walter Ross, Anita Christine Marsters, Art Gray, Betty Jean Ivy Pickett, William (Bill) Carine, and Neil O. Clute.